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Is blogging for me?

I've heard about blogging but never really understood what it is. I've perused what a few people had to say in the TeacherLibrarian Ning and their comments were interesting and food for thought. As one completely new to blogs, my initial concern is that there is so much to say and millions of opinions to be heard! I also feel like I did when I first went online. There is sooo much information and so many people, it is difficult to navigate through everything.

I'm trying to figure out how I could use this particular forum in a classroom or library setting. I like how UCD has the discussion going; that is particularly helpful. In the classroom, I suppose I could post a question about a particular reading and have students respond. But I'm still trying to figure out how I could use blogging in a library...

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23 things in California

I am currently working my way through the "23 Things" on the California School Library Association's School Library Learning 2.0. It is an interesting experience and we are all trying to find new and amazing things to use at school in our libraries. Not everything will be useful, but we will sure know about a lot more when we are finished.
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Dear TeacherLibrarianNing-ers,

This is to invite you all to join this newly formed group at: Building a Culture of Collaboration Group

It is my belief that as teacher-librarians we must continually develop and refine our collaborative skills and strategies in order to serve as effective instructional partners.

Share your successes. Share your challenges. Share your ideal of what you believe classroom-library collaboration can mean for you, your classroom teacher colleagues, and the students, families, and communities you serve.

Join us!


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Greenville Zoo

Here is a personal blog post. I am taking my son to the Greenville Zoo today. I could have gone out of town since I have family in Charleston, and my husband's family lives in Charlotte. However, I did not feel like dealing with the traffic on this Memorial Day weekend.

Anyway, we are going to the zoo. It is a nice zoo because it is small. It only takes an hour to an hour and a half to see all of the animals. There is a great playground right beside the zoo, too. Probably later this summer, I will take him to Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia. If you have gathered by now that I love zoos, you are correct! I have visited the Jacksonville Zoo, Charleston Landing, Charleston Aquarium, Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, Greenville Zoo, Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, North Carolina Zoo, Atlanta Zoo, Minneapolis Zoo, Houston Zoo, Vienna Zoo (yes as in Austria), and the Salzburg Zoo (again in Austria).

To see the Greenville Zoo, go to Greenville Zoo
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My very first ning

OK - I want to jump up and down, shout to the skies, and sing a few lovely bars (may or not be in tune) to celebrate my very first ning. I have been very nervous about this adventure. This lovely little adventure began with my first class in becoming a librarian in the 21st century. I am a classroom science teacher, and have been there for the past seven years. If you asked other teachers/educators in my building, they would probably say that Tina is a technology savey teacher. I love having the most up to date technological features to use in my classroom - once I am familiar with them. When I know and am comfortable with what I am doing, I do not hold back. BUT, learning a new technology scares the heck out of me. Signing up for my first ning - especially since I just found out what one was - was pretty terrifying for me. The sense of accomplishment I feel right now is incredible. I didn't even know what a blog was - yet now that I know, I have been blogging for years. I keep a daily record of what my students are learning in a free website for teachers. This lets parents and students know where we were and are going throughout the year. Here is to continuing this wonderful adventure.
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Library 2.0

As I've studied this year and, more recently, read Joyce Valenza's blog about library websites, I've been thinking about the implications of Web 2.0 for both libraries and education. I always saw myself as pretty advanced along the tech integration pathway, at least compared to other teachers in my school. I used list-servs and webquests and digital storytelling/documentaries as a regular part of my classes. I even had a (fairly disastrous) foray into podcasting. (grin--nothing in Egypt is ever easy!) However, blogs, wikis and their use in education are all new territory for me.

More specifically, I'm wondering how to use them as I design my own library website. I looked around several websites Joyce listed as "exemplary" in her Library webquest. Pretty impressive, but as she pointed out in her blog a few days ago, almost none of them incorporate aspects of the read/write web. How much of this is a time factor? I realized during my practicum that this "library thing" is FAR more intense than simply teaching English. Multi-tasking is the order of the day! If we really try to incorporate the ideas behind Information Power, we're heavily involved in teaching and collaborating--so just when will we have time to maintain an interactive website?

Assuming we DO find the time, how do we put these technologies to best use? I love the idea of a (moderated!) reading recommendation blog for students/teachers. Of course, a library blog on "what's up" at the library each month seems obvious, too. I thought of including a page of student podcasts where they "sound off" on topical issues. But this all seems fairly mundane and not the most creative use of media.

I've ordered a book--just out!--called "Using Technology in the Classroom" that, if the blurb on Amazon is right, looks like it will provide some good ideas. I'll post more as I continue to investigate.
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Post number 1

OK, here goes.

I'm Becky and I'm a little stressed at the moment because this is graduation eve for my stepson. There are about a million family members at our house right now and they're not likely to leave any time soon. The good news is that we'll get to see Stefan play in the 2A HS All Star Baseball game on Sunday.

I'm librarian for Center MS/HS/Public library. It's pretty tiny, but becoming mightier all the time. Looking forward to reading my cohort's posts.

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I put in my application

I have finally "gotten" up the nerve to put in an application for a teacher-librarian job. We have a new school opening up in our district, and I am really excited about it now. I haven't wanted to put my application out yet, because I am feeling guilty about leaving my present job (one that I love). However, if I got this job, then I could still be at my job for the beginning part of the year and have everything set up for my students, then leave. I have some how justified this in my mind as being better then leaving before then. I guess we'll see... :)
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AASL Committee Appointments?

I am busy making committee appointments and would love to involve AASL/Ning members! Of course, anyone who is not an AASL member yet is welcome to join and get involved right away in working for our students and our profession.

There are a few that are filled (NSLMPY, Advocacy Special Committee, Interdivisional Committee onInformation Literacy, 2008 Annual) but lots are not and that's what Iam doing this weekend--and the next few weeks. The awards and award subcommittees are wide open exceptfor NSLMPY. Many have virtual slots for those of you who can't come to Annual and Midwinter where the committees meet face-to-face. Much of the work is done between the conferences via e-mail, wikis and online communities.

Just go to the AASL Committee page to take a look at the available committees, let me know your choices, download the PDF form and fax it to AASL. Even if the form is not sent yet, we can work with getting you on the committees.

One in particular that the Ning brings to mind is the AASL Blog editorial board. It needs a few good people to work with Alice Yucht and company and I need:
--geographic representation: West Coast, Northwest, Midwest, Plains, South.
--familiarity with technology, big issues, etc.
--willing/able to post at least once a month as a topical reporter.

You can see why Ning members came right to my mind for the blog! Just contact me at <> if you are interested in any committee. THANKS!

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End of year

Wow! It is almost the end of the year and I can't believe that there is so little time left.

Not only is my district reconfiguring the 7-9 schools into K-8 in two years, I move to be TL in a new school in September.

I am trying to decide whether purchasing texts for grade 9 is worth it for one year....and wondering where the middle schools are going to put the K-6 collection, plus thinking about shelving, tables, etc.....

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I'm sharing this post from my blog, because I'd really like to get some input on this topic. I'm noticing a distinct go gettum attitude when it comes to students and teachers breaking copyright, even in the most innocent and mundane ways. It feels like a true departure from librarianship and a distraction from the skills and concepts I want my students to learn about, like intellectual freedom, critical thought and the democratic process. And I'm not sure how we got here. It's clear that many librarians view this topic in a different light. What am I missing?


Listening to many fellow librarians lately, I’ve been left wonderinghow and when we agreed to being shills for the movie & musicindustries.

I believe it’s my job to educate my students on fair use, plagiarism, copyright and the like. I do not believe it’s my job toensure that the labels and studios are able to squeeze any possiblepenny out of any school or student that they can, or help them locateand prosecute young downloaders.

I must have been out of the room when they slipped that into my job description.

However, I do take this topic seriously and spend a good deal of time on it with my students. They learn the law and we have fruitful and provocative discussions concerning abuse of power,greed and the sometimes downright silliness that current copyright lawencourages.

Here are two great new resources that cropped up this week on Boing Boing.

A site & curriculum:

Teaching copyright: Richard Esguerra registered the domain as a site for collecting curriculum materials for K-12 teachers who arebeing asked to explain copyright to their kids. Today, teachers areoverwhelmed by slick, self-interested “curriculum” generated by theMPAA and their ilk, which presents a one-sided, inaccurate view ofcopyright. Richard produced some curriculum himself, and anotherstudent, Julianne Gale, supplemented his work with a brilliant lesson plan (pdf) for kids in grades 6-8.

And an out of this world video on Fair Use (yours to download. get it now, before Disney forces them to take it down.) Fair(y) Use Tale,using tiny cuts from many different Disney films mashed together toexplain fair use.

Coral Cache link to MP4 download

Link to Stanford page for the film

Educators are constantly penalized and frustrated by restrictive copyright. Isn’t it our duty to protect Fair Use and encouragelegislation that expands it? Why are we spending so much effortcomplaining about teachers who show films in class? Why don’t we focusmore on how we can protect the rights of our teachers and students,rather than those of the corporations?

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Beyond the LMC

The past two school days I have spent "in the field" with science students gathering photos and video for a class project to post podcasts, and vlogs on the PORTS web site, which is hosted by Ca. State Parks. It was an interesting exercise in gathering visual information - what was important, and who was the audience. It was fun to get out of the library, we had beautiful weather (which is significant up here) and it was refreshing. But it also got me thinking about guiding students in gathering, evaluating, and using information beyond traditional sources, in a visual medium, and how that is the same and different than traditional "library research". I would love more opportunities like this one, to move beyond my walls, the school, and into the field.
Here are my flickr photos from the first day.
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A while back I created a series of YouTube based videos on Google's Special operators. TeachLibrarianNing seems like the perfect place to post the links!

There are two ways to view these videos.

I create a lot of media as part of my work at 21CIF. I'd love to hear your ideas on what would be useful in the Library.

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First time...

This is my first time on this blog. I have to say that I think blogging is interesting but not something I have found much time to do. I have a blog with the March of Dimes since this organization has been a big part of my life. However, I found myself blogging for a few days and then realizing that I do not seem to have enough time to continue with a blog.So I guess this blog serves two purposes... One it is for a course I am taking in my graduate program and two to see what I can learn as I hope to get a Teacher Librarian job in a school this fall.I have learned a lot about the value of a Teacher Librarian from the perspective as one. I have been able to use my resources related to books to help my 15 year old nephew find books he is interested in and now we swap titles of books that we like. I have also been able to share information on books with a neighbor who has a son who does not like to read at all. I also have found great books that I read to my 2 1/2 year old daughter Bailey who LOVES books!
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Making the Internet Work. With Yarn.

I haven't posted to my Ning blog yet, because whenever I have a minute, I'm posting on my own. But I thought you ning librarians might get a kick of the internet model my students made out of cardboard boxes in the library the other day.

Here's one of the minis:

There are more pictures and a description of the day here:

The knitter and geek in me are both proud.
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All Alone

It looks like I will be by myself next year in a 900 student library. (The paraprofessional position is very likely to be cut.) Anyone have any advice as I close the year with help in preparation for next year?
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Hello everyone, The Canadian Library Association's Annual Conference is in St. John's, Newfoundland. That is as far East as this Vancouverite can go in one day in Canada. It will require a 9 and a half hour plane trip to get there. It will be worth it since it is a great opportunity to meet fellow school librarians as well as librarians from the other 4 divisions within the CLA. As I go to meetings and sessions, I will keep you posted on interesting information and data that I pick up. Talk to you soon. Richard
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Books Abound conference trading cards


I and six of my peers are hosting a regional, annual conference for librarians and teachers on the joys of liesure reading, called 'Books Abound', October, 2007. We anticipate 125 attendees. As an icebreaker we thought trading cards would be fun. Collect a set and win a chance at a prize!

But trading cards are a little harder than first thought. A set of 12 to 16 cards might be nice, on a literary theme, character, etc., but no such animal, to my limited research exists for easy creation/acquisition.


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Dewey Decimal Scavenger Hunt

Laura Brooks encouraged me to post here--my first time to visit this site. Below is the message I posted on LM_Net----and received over 50 requests for the word versions of my Dewey for kids and the cards I used for this activity. So I have attached the two files here.

Today I completed one of my favorite Dewey Decimal activities withfourth grade. We've studied Dewey quite a bit, so for this last classof the year (other activities will supersede class the next 2 weeks) Iused a variation of the Scavenger hunt found here: Marietta Sue Dennis. I'm sure that I found it originally throughLM_Net, but I can't find the post in the archives. I thought it wasSuby Wallace whose Thinkquest, Do We do Dewey, I use every year.
I pair up the students, give each pair a Dewey Decimal sheet with the categories from my Dewey for kids web site: each pair get a different card with a task. They may use only theDDC sheet to find a book that would answer the question or help them dothe task. Examples are: You have to explain football to Mrs. Oelke, orYou need to identify a tree in your back yard, Or You need to plan atrip to Hawaii. etc. When the pair find a book that will work, theyraise their hand and I check their work. If it is correct, I put acolored check on the post it note that has their names on it. Thenthey turn in that card and get a new one. I run around like crazy, butthey love it. In 20 minutes the top pairs got 8-9 cards, and everypair got at least 3. Noisy, crazy, but all of us had fun.

Download dewey scavenger cards.doc
Download deweyfor kids.doc
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Create your own group here!

Cathy Nelson just pointed out that we could create groups within our Ning community. This is very cool. I played around by creating one for high school.

Please create any others that make sense to you (ala
How about one for independent schools, one for TLs from Arkansas or Alaska, one for the NECC conference, one for TLs without budgets, one for TLs with special super powers?


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